Why does this news make me so nervous?
This week, the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force announced that after years of study that they do not reccomend that healthy women be tested for ovarian cancer. Their reasoning? Women screened did not have a lower death rate from the disease and there are risks from having the tests.
OK, that sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Don’t want to subject myself to any unnecessary medical procedures. If the name of this panel sounds familiar, they’re the same ones that announced in 2009 that women under 50 don’t need to have mammograms. Oddly enough, their reasoning for that is the same as their reasoning for avoiding the ovarian cancer test: risks outweigh benefits. I’m on board with that too because I really don’t want to have to go in for a yearly mammogram anyway. If I can put that off a few more years, I’m good with it. Although, my doctor still wants me to have it done and my insurance DOES currently cover the procedure.
I had some time to kill this morning so I checked on the internet, and this is the same group that LAST year stated that men do not need to be screened for prostate cancer because – guess what? Benefits don’t outweigh risks.
Again, generally speaking, I can accept this at face value. I think we have way too many medical tests in this country and spend too much money having unnecessary medical treatment. But what if there’s another reason for these studies? What if it’s not a coincidence that they’re all coming out now? What if they’re just preparing us for the day when we aren’t ALLOWED to have these tests that we’ve been told all our lives we have to have? What if insurance companies stop paying for them? Will we be better off? Worse off? The same?
And what if something really sinister is going on here like – Oh, I don’t know – a secret plan for the government to take over our health care and start rationing it?
Never mind. That could never happen here.